All predictions were damaged today in Assen in the second round of the weekend. After the five best lap times achieved by the Audi RS 5 DTM in qualifying ’, we would not have bet too much on a success for the BMW M4 DTM. And yet this is what happened, with the victory of Sheldon van der Linde (BMW RBM # 31), the very first of a South African in DTM – another South African, Jonathan Aberdein ( BMW RMR # 27) was the fastest of the BMWs in qualifying, contested in the dry -. Van der Linde, only 21, had missed his qualifiers somewhat, only starting in 14th place, but his team's strategy, with the track soggy, was the right one.
Due to the condition of the track, the start was given under a safety car, as heavy downpours drowned the circuit between qualifying and the race. All the riders obviously started on wet tires. The safety car remained on the track for two laps before letting go of the peloton.
René Rast (Audi Rosberg # 33), poleman, missed his start a little and Loïc Duval (Audi Phoenix # 28) took the lead, followed by Robin Frijns (Audi Abt Sportsline # 4), victorious yesterday at home and who had beaten the French at the end of the race.
Duval did not stay in command for long, overtaken by Frijns. He was also losing ground to Rast, Nico Müller (Audi Abt Sportsline # 51) and Timo Glock (BMW RMR # 16) who got off to a great start and looked very comfortable in the wet.
The RBM team chose to have van der Linde stop very early and to fit him new tires, rain of course. The Audi drivers at the end came to a standstill much later as van der Linde put in a series of quick laps, so much so that when Frijns hit the track after his pitstop, van der Linde was ahead.
A little later, Fabio Scherer (Audi WRT # 13) caused a great fright to the spectators (authorized for the first time this season). He was coming off the track at high speed when the team had mounted slicks on him. With damaged tire piles and debris littering the track, the race was brought to a halt, with Scherer thankfully unharmed.
At the restart Van der Linde was unperturbed and held onto first place until the finish, followed by Frijns and Müller. de Duval, Rast (Duval fourth on the wire, below) and Glock.
The ranking is here
In the drivers standings, Müller is
still in the lead, with 164 points, ahead of Frijns, who is getting closer
with 138 points, and Rast, 128.